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Football: Keenan Allen, Bay Area college players locked out of NFL draft’s first day

A year after Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, the Bay Area was shut out in Thursday’s first round.

No local player was expected to make the splash that Luck did when he was taken at the top of the draft by the Indianpolis Colts.

But at least two players — Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen and Stanford tight end Zach Ertz — figured to be in the mix to be selected late in the first round.

Neither was taken, marking the first time since 2008 that Bay Area schools failed to produce a first-round draft pick.

Allen tried to stay upbeat Thursday night, tweeting: Competitively disturbed!!! But it’s all good somebody gonna hit the lotto! #headshigh #noworries

Allen and Ertz figure to be chosen Friday, when the draft resumes at 3:30 p.m. with the second and third rounds. The 49ers have the second pick of the second round, giving coach Jim Harbaugh the chance to consider taking Ertz, a player he recruited to Stanford.

Allen, who became Cal’s career receptions leader in less than three full seasons, was pegged as the top receiver prospect in the nation last fall. Then he sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and not only missed the Bears’ final three games, but could not work out at the NFL combine in February.

His draft stock dipped as a result, and he also was the subject of an anonymously sourced ESPN report that his drug test at the combine was red-flagged. Allen’s agent refuted the report, explaining his client was only called back for a combine re-check of the ankle he broke more than a year ago.

Allen finally worked out for NFL scouts in North Carolina several weeks ago, impressing with his good hands and polished skills, but also clocking mediocre 40-yard dash times.

Three wideouts were picked in the first round, with St. Louis taking West Virginia’s Tavon Austin at No. 8 after a trade with Buffalo, and two more going in the late 20s.

Other local players who could be picked Friday include Cal center Brian Schwenke.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Keenan is the all time receptions leader ? No way. Is he ??!

  • Juancho

    Just googled it. Shocked he is. He didnt even play three years.

  • Boaltblue

    Brother Juancho:

    And Keenan’s brother, Zach Maynard, was the one who was throwing the ball to him, so give Maynard some credit too.

    I will take a lot of heat for this comment, but I will make it anyway. Maynard’s 60% completion record and his running ability made him the best choice for QB last year. At least I did not see anyone on our team play better than Maynard.

    Overall, I am very appreciative of Keenan’s play at Cal. He could have gone anywhere in the country, but came to Cal where he became one of my favorite Cal players of all time. Keenan played his butt off for Cal and this fan will always remember the wonderful exciting memories he gave us.

    As for Maynard, he tried his best with an inferior offensive line and receivers who dropped plenty of passes.

    Best wishes and sincere appreciation to both brothers.

  • 707 Bear

    Boatblue:

    No heat, I agree with you.

    From KA’s first game against UC Davis (we need to get them back on the schedule), you could see he was a special player.

    Forget that 40 time. KA has football speed. He will have an excellent NFL carrer. Heck, Marvin Jones had 18 catches last year with the Bengals. How many will a healthy KA have as a rookie?

  • Steve W

    Boalt,

    Thanks for opening my eyes on Zach Maynard. I can now say that Justin Vedder and Kevin Riley were vastly under appreciated talents who also played behind inferior offensive lines and bad coaches. It’s a complete sham that the pro scouts didn’t/won’t take a look at this trio. Wonderful memories.

  • wehofx

    How does KA fall to the 3 rd? He musta F’d sth bad at the combine/interviews/drug test?

    No love for Pac 12. Barkley and Franklin are still left. wtf?